Moebius Scarf - The Original
How many ways are there to spell this? :)
This pattern was inspired by similar patterns on the web as well as a life
long love of math and science. I've always loved asking people to show me
the right side and wrong side of a Moebius strip. ;)
The first time I made this scarf, I kept shaking my head telling myself
that I must be doing something wrong, there's no way this was going to
work. But I was wrong!
NOTE: To lessen confusion, even though it's a circular needle, the terms
used to describe its two ends will be as if it was two separate needles.
- Approx. 150 to 200 g worsted yarn (5 1/2 to 7 1/2 oz), wool or wool blend preferred (like
- Circular needle of suitable size,
- Gauge: approx. 5 stitches per inch with worsted, though it's not
- Cast On: Cast on 150 stitches, loosely.
- Round 1: Ensuring stitches are not twisted, pick up and knit a stitch
below the first cast on stich, along the lower edge of the cast
on row. In other words, knit in the thread below the first cast
on stitch while leaving the first cast on stitch on its needle.
Your cast on row should now be "closed" into a complete circle with your
newly picked up stitch on your "working" needle (closest to your body), in
front of the other needle which still holds the first cast on stitch.
Clear as mud? ;)
- Round 1 (cont'd): Continue around in the same fashion, picking up one
stitch below each of the original cast on stitches, while leaving those
cast on stitches on their needle. Your circular needle will begin to take
on the shape it probably had when brand new and still sitting in its
package, as it begins to coil up within itself during this round. When
you've knitted up one stitch below each stitch of the cast on row, you're
finished Round 1.
- To help understand the path your knitting will take, if you trace a
circle twice with your finger, and imagine your beginning and ending
points joined (Round 2), you've got the idea of how this will look as it's
progressing. Like two rounds of a coil, but with the ends joined
together. One coil will be inside the other as you knit around. It will
take some manipulation of the fabric to continue to knit comfortably at this early stage, but it gets easier as you go along.
- Round 2: Place a small marker on your right needle at this point.
Again, triple check to ensure your work is not twisted. Bring
the end of your right needle up to meet the left needle. Knit the first
stitch the normal way and remove it from the other needle as usual. This
joining is the action that adds the half twist, identifying this
scarf as a Moebius strip. Continue knitting around as usual until you've
reached your marker. You'll have knitted into each stitch of the original
150 you cast on, as well as into the 150 you knitted up from below those
cast on stitches - 300 stitches in total on the needle.
- Round 3: Slip marker, Purl around.
- Round 4: Slip marker, Knit around.
- Continue with Rounds 3 and 4 to produce Garter Stitch.
- Remember it's supposed to look like you've done something
wrong. As the work progresses, it should make a little more sense. Don't
rip it out if it looks funny!
- Continue working for about 25 rounds (50 rows counted across the width
of the scarf - each round goes around the length of the scarf twice).
Cast off in knit or purl (whichever the next round is supposed to be),
then darn in ends as neatly as you can since this scarf is, essentially, reversible.
- Now admire this marvel you've created - the Moebius Scarf! Hand it to
someone and ask them to fold it for you. Chuckle to yourself while they
try to flatten or untangle it or turn it right side out. ;)
- If you're more adventerous, you may want to use a more complex reversible stitch pattern of your chosing. If you knit every round, your scarf will be in
stocking stitch on the left, and reverse stocking stitch on the right (or
the other way around). This doesn't work very well since it tends to curl. Remember, there is no inside or outside to this scarf. It will be a loop with a half twist, which will rest comfortably folded against your neckline and upper chest to keep you snug and warm. It can also be tugged up over your head to keep your ears warm if nastier weather occurs.
- Of course the width, length, material and pattern stitch can be
adjusted to suit your preferences. A stripe would probably be quite nice,
as would a scarf made up of odd ends of yarn. Just be sure you have enough yarn, and adjust the number of stitches etc. accordingly.
- Math lovers may also want to check out my discussion of using
Math for Craft Design.
- New November 2001 - Want to try an alternate method? Check out my new Moebius scarf patterns - Moebius Scarf 2 is similar to the Original, while Moebius Scarf 3 is not. I also have a Crocheted Moebius Scarf.
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